Search

Founder of St Francis Hospice dies at age 94

14:00 01 May 2013

Joan Matthew

Joan Matthew

Archant

Tributes have been paid to one of the founders of St Francis Hospice following her death at the age of 94.

Joan Matthews died at her beloved hospice in Havering-atte-Bower on Monday last week.

She had been unwell in Southend Hospital since February and was transferred to Saint Francis Hospice’s inpatient unit so that she could end her life in the place she had done so much to nurture.

Joan first saw the need for better provision of care for those with a terminal illness through her work at Havering Community Health Council in the 1970s.

Having identified the need for a hospice in the area she was one of the foremost enthusiasts in raising public awareness of this need. She was also instrumental in establishing the fundraising groups across Havering and surrounding areas to generate cash needed for its development.

Joan recalled a meeting in 1977: “Peter Smith and I had a meeting at Dr Dorothy Rule’s flat in Hornchurch to talk about registering as a charity so that we could start fundraising.

“When we finished the meeting we dipped into our purses and each put a £5 note on the table. It was significant because those were the first actual funds collected.”

A total of £350,000 was raised for building work to begin in 1982.

Over the years Joan worked tirelessly to see Saint Francis Hospice grow into one of the largest hospices in the UK.

Today every year more than 3,000 people from the boroughs of Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge and Brentwood receive care and support from the hospice.

Voluntary services manager Gill Wendelken, who has worked at the hospice since 1984, remembers what an inspirational person Joan was.

“She captivated everyone she spoke to about the hospice, whether it was to a group or an individual, because of her determination to share the value of palliative care with us all,” Gill said.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

07:00
A mother of three has launched a petition to ban smoking outside primary school gates. Credit: PA images

A mother of three has launched a petition to ban smoking in front of primary school gates.

Yesterday, 16:32
Upmisnter Christmas tree festival.

An annual Christmas tree festival organised by a church, returned to the delight of residents.

Yesterday, 15:44
The alleged incident happened at Jon Cruddas' advice surgery at Dagenham Civic Centre

A man who allegedly took a hammer and a knife into Jon Cruddas’ MP advice surgery will go on trial next month.

Yesterday, 14:21
The show's backstage crew standing behind the Havering Asks panellists.

Panellists from across the political spectrum were kept on their toes answering tough questions from a young audience on Friday.

Yesterday, 13:28
The Victorian Christmas event in Collier Row.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as residents were invited to enjoy a traditional Victorian event on Friday.

Yesterday, 13:04
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell opened the Star Wars Convention at the YMCA, which raised more than £1,000 for the charity

Characters from the epic saga Star Wars have brought the force to the borough and helped raise hundreds of pounds for a mental health charity.

Yesterday, 10:46
Staff and pupils at Parklands Junior School celebrating their positive Osted rating

It was smiles all round as staff and pupils celebrated the news that their school had received a glowing Ofsted report.

Yesterday, 07:38
Romford station

Trains running between Shenfield and Liverpool Street are delayed this morning after overnight engineering work did not finish on time.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now